desperately would like to see this movie, have heard great things about it, any ideas???????


I just got my copy off of Ebay for $10. Granted it's a DVD of a taping from either TV or video, but that's about the best you're going to get unless a real release happens, which it probably won't.

I was actually quite impressed with this movie.

1. The cab interior of the locomotive looked very accurate.

2. The engineer and fireman (they were still called that in the 70s) call out the signals, although "high green" and "flashing yellow" aren't real signal aspect names.

3. The engineer mentions that he just made a 10 lb. brake application when he discovers the brakes not working, and the brakeman in the passenger cars checks to make sure the angle cocks are open between the cars. Usually movies, especially TV-movies don't get into the technical aspects of railroading.

4. The dispatcher's office looked very realistic.

Of course, there were some bloopers.

1. There was believed to be a blockage somewhere in the line for the air brakes, causing the brakes on the cars to stay released. If this was the case, the conductor's pulling on the emergency brake would have stopped it as would the hand brakes.

2. The train is likely to derail on a curve at one of the towns it passes through. The local emergency personel are dispatched to get ready for a possible crash. And where do they all set up to wait at? On the outside of the curve right in the path of where the locomotives and cars would go should they flip off the track.

3. Also, some of the interior shots were obviously shot in a studio as scenery outside car windows is going away from the windows somewhat instead of just past, the cab of the lead locomotive is bouncing while the shot through the window along the side walkway stays still, and at the end the left hand rail is visible out the window on the engineer's (right) side of the locomotive cab.

Overall, though, I thought it was a rather entertaining movie and done rather well for its time.


The big rescue is supposed to be done by a brand new white engine that is parked on a siding waiting for the runaway to clear.

As we all should realize, it will take some time before the lone engine will even get up to speed.

So why have it site there right at the switch? Why not back him up a mile or so, then on a certain signal have him start moving toward the switch so that he's not that far behind once he clears the switch?

There could be a lot of drama in that we the viewers don't know if the runaway will clear the switch before he gets there, or will he have to apply his brakes and smash the runaway 'cause he's a tad early and he can't stop fast enough? It makes for better thrillls than watching this old salt sitting there grinning and waving at everybody on the runaway as it speeds past.

As an aside, the engineer in the engine that was chasing The Atomic Train looked a lot more realistic and his fear and guts played real well.

Footnote: IMHO the best train movie to date is "The Train" with Burt Lancaster.


Back in 2001, CSX had a runaway incident here in Ohio. The runaway was heading southbound, and to catch it, they had a northbound train in a siding uncouple its locomotive, wait for the runaway to pass, pull out onto the mainline, and then chase the runaway and couple onto the last car to apply the brakes. So, having the chase locomotive waiting seemed perfectly realistic.


This is the actual indident that the 2010 move "Unstoppable" is based on. However the film doesn't really follow the real life story very closely.